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'Nerve' is about an online dare game, in which people give participants anonymous dares for money. The participants compete with each other to win the grand prize as the dares get tougher. Things get worse when the tasks get increasingly dangerous and lives are at stake.Written by
Are you a watcher, or a player? That's the question at the center of the NYC-set millennial thriller 'Nerve.' The Emma Roberts-/Dave Franco-starrer is a commentary on the perils and pitfalls of our budding voyeuristic society as our lives continue to shift from the real to the virtual world.
When an underground online game sprouts up among high school-aged kids that rewards those who dare to accept dares, all kinds of havoc is unleashed on the boroughs of New York. Roberts plays Vee - a graduating high school senior who is caught between a rock and a hard place, as she is looking to escape her simple Staten Island life in hopes of going to school on the west coast. The quiet, shy Vee decides to take a chance on coming out of the shadows, and after crossing paths with the mysterious Franco (Ian), her life is never the same.
Sure, 'Nerve' is creative, but it tries really hard to be edgy. And maybe it is seen to be edgy to its core demographic, but it otherwise comes off as feeling "fake" and "pretentious." There are lots of scenes that feel like they were thought up on the spot, and they look like they were filmed on a smartphone. This effect is intentional, of course, but that doesn't signal that it's good. Yes, there are some daredevil-ish tasks that are attempted here, but they all feel muted. On the positive side, there are some great shots of the city scattered throughout.
'Nerve' attempts to generate awareness of the growing issue of cyberbullying, but it does so in a way that feels cheap and hokey.
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